It’s that time again!

A new charity based game bundle has been released. Due to complete lack of free time I forgot to post the last one. Also laziness might have been a factor.

I am smack dab in the middle of grad school, gaming, and reading books for reviews. It’s a busy and lovely (well…mostly lovely) life.

Because of that I am going to keep this short and sweet since I should be writing a report on drug analysis.

The Indie Gala has a new bundle out. If you click the link you can see the different games offered. They are doing something a little different this time and releasing albums with the games, as well as giving you the opportunity to donate a touch more and receive the games from the first bundle if you did not get a chance to get them before hand.

If your looking to still be a penny pincher after the holidays but want to score new games while helping out a charity, go for it!

 

One game even has zombies in it, which is of course a bonus in my book.

Indie Royale II

Great news! Just in case you didn’t have enough to distract you, the Indie Royale II Bundle is out!!

A similar idea to The Humble Indie Bundle, a pay-what-you-want kind of deal with a minimum price that increases with the number of people who have purchased the bundle (buy early!) and decreases if you decide to pay more than the minimum price (to further support the indie devs and keep the price low for others!).

Current price (11/10/11 3:00pm): $3.40

NightSky, Steam price $10 – A physics-based platformer, I remember playing the demo a long while ago and really enjoying it, but not feeling like dropping $10 on it.

Fate of the World, Steam price $10 – A strategy game in which you try to keep the world alive through rising population, decreasing resources, and climate changes. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds really interesting.

Scoregasm – Bullet hell-esque shooter, no experience with it but it looks like a lot of fun. It’s supposed to be a “bullet hell shooter for the masses,” meaning it’s more accessible for those who would normally not be interested in the genre. It’s on steam (I remember considering buying it, before) but its steam page is not showing up now for some reason. I think it was between $5-$10.

Ben There, Dan That! & Time Gentlemen, Please!, Steam price $5 – Two truly great point and click adventure games. Honestly funny all throughout, the writing is superb. The puzzles make sense, they do a great job at signposting without making solutions too obscure or too obvious. Excellent games.

Feel free to jump for it!!

Do get over yourself

Everyone has something that they catch flac for, everyone. Sometimes its harmless ribbing from your friends over something silly, or sometimes its something that hurts your feelings from people who hardly know you.

One of the things that myself (and several of my friends) catch crap for is gaming. People still see it as a childish activity (despite the plethora of obviously not child-safe games on the market) and think we are wasting our time. They can think what they want but while they are wasting brain power on some mindless reality tv show, I am playing puzzle games that require thought, or shooters that require strategy. Also I’m enhancing my eye-hand coordinative skills and decreasing the amount of time it takes for me to see something and rapidly respond. I’m also venting my frustration in a healthy way that doesn’t harm anyone.

However, I in particular catch the hatorade for another reason, I am a female gamer. I am apart of f7 Lans gaming community, where are are about 3 or 4 females present at any given time (which is impressive in its own) and the community is supportive of us. Yes we get picked on, but not for being female. They even lovingly call us fem7 and they gladly gloat that they are the only community to have chicks show up to their lans. We kinda rule. We also love having other ladies around, we don’t play the catty bitch card that we aren’t the only female in the group.

However outside of f7, or new comers to f7, are not as nice. In fact they can be down right rude.

A good friend of mine just passed a long a link to me which really illustrates this well. Kotaku just posted One Female Gamer Records A Warfare In Words in which a female gamer expresses her grievances. The authors of the article has her own blog about this as well, Not in the Kitchen Anymore where she shares more and publishes audio recordings of things actually said to her. If you are interested I recommend giving it a read and a listen.

Sure most of us are used to the trash talk, but its still rude and we shouldn’t have to hear it just because we have ovaries. No we do not like being called little boys, and do not appreciate the “well you must be fat or ugly since your playing games and not doing something else”. Its mean and many of us are playing with our boyfriends, not alone, so the comments are invalid. Like Haniver says in her article, If we’re ugly fat loners, then what are the people playing with us and calling us names?

The next time you talk smack in a game, do it over skill, not over sex or gender. I’m not asking for people to treat females nicer, or take it easy on us, we don’t want that at all, we can hold our own and prove it. I just ask that we are treated fairly.

Seems easy enough if you ask me.

Humble Voxatron Debut

That’s right! Another Humble Bundle! I’ve explained it all to you before but if you want a refresher then you can listen to the explanation in the video!

Enjoy!!

 

EDIT:

Two more games have already been added to the bundle!!!

Humble Frozen Synapes Bundle Part 2 (editted)

 

I know I just posted about the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle, but great news, a new game (and potentially more) has just been added!

It is called Trauma and is an artistic style game about a girl who has been in an accident and she deals with the loss of her parents through a series of dreams, which you participate in as the player.

Edit:

So the newest game added to the bundle is Space Chem and many of my gamer friends assure me that this game by itself is enough to purchase the bundle! I am looking forward to playing it…after I get all my classwork for this week finish and host my boyfriends study group/jeopardy study session this weekend (which I was just informed I was doing O_o)

6 days left in the bundle!!

Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle

Do you like dirt cheap things? Do you like helping charity? Do you like games?

Well then have I got the perfect thing for you!

For the past year or so, something has been going around the internet called the Humble Indie Bundle. What it is, is a group of popular indie games, bundled together. In order to get them, you donate however much you want. Your donation goes to the developers,  to the charity Child’s Play  and EFF, and to the Humble company, or if you chose, all to charity or one of the others. You can alter how much of your donation goes to each. So far there have been about 5 of these releases (give or take one) and generally each release includes around 5 games (except the Frozenbyte bundle which they kept adding more and more games to).

In this most recent release, the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle, only one game (Frozen Synapse) is available. (You can listen to a technical review of Frozen Synapse here on Total Biscuit’s channel, as I doubt I could explain it to save my life). It is only one game and not even one I am terrible interested at that. But here is the kicker, if you donate over the average amount (around $4.17 when I donated earlier and is currently at $4.51) you can get the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle which has a ton of games (One of which is Trine which is an absolute blast in my opinion). You can even feel free to only donate $0.01 if you feel so inclined. So far the Humble Bundles have raised over $2 million for charities.

Also, I forgot to mention, all the games on the Humble bundles are DRM free. So as long as you keep your confirmation email with the link in it, you can download these games as many times as you want!

The Humble tech ninjas are amazing and will help you as quickly as they can with any problem whatsoever, so no fear there. They helped get us all through the fiasco which was the donators essentially screwing paypal up with the rapid fire donations they were processing ^_^.

All in all, I have nothing terrible to say about the bundles. I mean it is a way to get cheap games and to help out a good cause. I have all of them regardless of whether I like the games or not just to donate to the charity. (Even broke grad students donate to charity when they can!)

If you aren’t sure about it quite yet, have no fear, there are 13 days left to think about it. Also I am sure they will be another one and I will happily post it here as a reminder. You can also follow them on Twitter @humble for notifications. I think you also get an email about the next one automatically when you donate, although I am sure you can sign up for the email without donating.

Happy Gaming!!!

 

Echo Bazaar

So I have recently come across Echo Bazaar…again.

The last (first) time I came across this it was either in closed beta or not open yet. Now its in an open beta so I dove right in.

The “About” section reads as follows:

1889.

Three decades ago, London was stolen by bats. Dragged deep into the earth by the Echo Bazaar. The sun is gone. All we have is the gas-light of Mr Fires.
But Londoners can get used to anything. And it’s quiet down here with the devils and the darkness and the mushroom wine. Peaceful.
But then YOU arrived.
Welcome. Delicious friend.
.
Yes, it is FREE! You connect to the game with Twitter or Facebook so that occasionally you can “echo” storylets. While you may not want to spam friends, doing this once a day gets you an automatic energy refill up to 10 actions. Pretty nice to for me considering I only have 10 actions at the moment.
I’ve only been playing a few days, and not even consecutively at that. You start out as a prisoner in Fallen London (which seems deliciously steampunk-esque) and you have to figure out how to escape. There are so many choices for actions that help develop your character and what characteristics you want them to have. I haven’t had a solid path yet, I’ve just been bouncing all over the place to see what it going on and how things work. Also I’m trying to get a decent base in the four main stats they give you (Danger, Watchfulness, Shadowy, Persuasive). The higher one of these is, the more storylets specific to that trait unlock that need that trait for completion.
.
So far it seems that some of my choices so legitimately change certain things about the game. Also, unless you use an encounter card that is used up once, you can repeat an action that you have failed. Each failure still helps level you up in that trait though, so no action is truly wasted.
You care given x number of cards and you can chose to draw one and try to complete it, which could yield mad loot or just something twisted, or you can try to follow little storylets and plot lines to make your way through Fallen London.
I think the point of the game is to try to make your way from a nothing jailbird to an influencial person in Fallen London. I think. Don’t quote me on that since I’ve only got a little bit of time into game play.
.
If you want to join me my name on EB is Voldenae Marlo and you can click this link to my Mantelpiece. At the bottom left is a “Join Voldenae Marlo” button you can click and join me. If you do please let me know, and (if I can help) I will help as much as I can and we can gang up on Fallen London together!
I’m going to try to figure more out…..

O RLY?

So I could again apologize for my absence, so I get down to actually writing instead of being annoying. Well ok the annoying bit isn’t going to go away, its kind of who I am.

However, I do have a good reason this time (aside from laziness) because I am (slowly but surely) packing up my apartment to move 6-7 hours away. I am less traumatized by the idea of a move so far from home now, I’m just upset because my mom is upset. Granted I am in my mid-twenties, but she is spoiled by having me around a considerable amount (I live 50 minutes from home) so it’s stressing since I am close to my parents.

Granted it was bound to happen sooner or later. It’ll be ok. With the ridiculous amounts of tech I own I’ll still talk to her all the time, which helps assuage her fears that the hillbillies hiding in the high mountains of West Virginia are going to steal and eat me and she’ll never hear from me again. MY fears of this haven’t lessened but hers have so it’s ok.

Quick bit of business.
When I started this blog I fully intended for it to be a more review and reference style blog with bits of myself and my life tossed in at random, but it seems when work picks up I fall by the wayside with my goal. As a two time college graduate and current grad student, this is clearly bound to happen.
And while I am as much an attention whore as the next blogger, I have no delusions that I am interesting enough on my own for people to just read willy nilly.
So my question is, what would you like to see more of?

Also, IF (a BIIIIIIIIIG If) I can manage to have enough forethought to suggest a topic for my next post would you be interested in submitting suggestions/mini-reviews/insight/etc?

I would definitely be interested in getting some interaction from people out there.

Ok so that business concluded (can you tell I just figured out how to make polls? ^_^) I have a funny (to me) story.
I have part of this blog set aside as a platform for people to access and buy plushies from me. I have a little widgit box to My Etsy Account (currently in vacation mode due to the move so any commissions require you to message me personally right now) on the sidebar so that people can get to it quickly. In my experience, most people don’t like having to actually search for things, so I am ok with making it easier on them. At any rate, I specialize in handmade nerdy plushies. Almost all of the patterns have been made by me, and I try not to sell something that the official license holder is currently making. For example, I have made a companion cube, but I really don’t sell them because Valve makes them as well. I’ve done trades for them, and birthday presents, but I try not to step on toes. I can’t afford the legal recourse.

However, IF the item is not being made, like Brain Slugs, I sell them.

Until now that is.

I received a message through etsy from Fox asking me to cease selling them because Brain Slugs are their intellectual property. I have no qualms with this, they did create Futurama and Brain Slugs, but currently Comedy Central is the one airing the new episodes of Futurama and they make no brain slugs, there fore I am not taking away from their revenue.
They did ask me to remove them from etsy so I did, no harm no foul, I’d rather comply politely than get in trouble.

I’m a student, I make plushies to attempt to make a meager living, not to cause issues with corporations that make more money in one year than I will see in a life time.

That being said, I can still make them all day every day as long as there is no “profit”. Meh. Presents and trades still work.

I want to return to movie/book reviews soon, until then, for fun Summer flicks I recommend Drive Angry (on dvd), Pirates IV (way better than the 2nd and 3rd), or catching up on Supernatural, or even watching the newest BBC Sherlock Holmes which is incidentally AMAZING and I cannot wait for season 2. Or, if you are lucky enough to have HBO, dive in to True Blood, which is stunning and I almost love it more than the books, which is saying something. (I also need to catch up on Doctor Who >_<)

As for books, I continuing last Summer’s reading choices by working my way through all the Christopher Moore novels that I haven’t yet read. He’s hilarious, sarcastic, and ridiculously wonderful enough for Summer reading. Also, I intend to catch up on the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mysteries novels by Charlaine Harris, as well as work through a few of her other series (that woman is a writing machine!)

As for games, Steam has been letting some pretty amazing sales fly in celebration of Summer, seriously amazing deals if you are interested. Also I have been eating up Alice: Madness Returns which has been amazing (a full review is coming of that I assure you). Suffice to say that American McGee and Spicy Horse certainly out did themselves. And, because they are such nice people, they have released the first game, American McGee’s Alice for free if you purchased Madness Returns, and for $9.99 (I believe, it could be cheaper) download if you didn’t, with achievements for both if you are in fact an achievement whore (you may laugh but I live with one and it can become dangerous…lol).

If you survived this ridiculously long post, then I thank you for your continued support and will try to reward you with pretty picture filled posted soon. Potentially of Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría because my Mom and I are going to see it Thursday!! ^_^

What are your summer movies and books? I’m always looking for more! (incidentally if you have a Suncoast near you they are having a crazy movie sale, go before it ends!)

Until next time internet world ^_^

Flogging Molly vs. Lady Gaga

As I alluded in my last post, I have to spout about Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way.

Please note, I love Lady Gaga. I do. When she came around and was making music I was overjoyed because I loved her sound. Now…I am severely apprehensive about where she is going. Her first album (The Fame) is one of my favorites…her new one is one of my least.

I hate saying that, but I am disappointed. Maybe I just had too high of expectations so I was setting myself up for a let down. This is probably a contributing factor, but I just feel she isn’t meeting her own standards. I’m glad she is sending a message in her music, but I feel she is too much catering to the masses (even as much as she claims she isn’t) and this is what we got. Meh. Not impressed and I do hope any future work gets better. Then again, maybe I need to listen to it more and try to let it grow on me. I’ve listened to the whole album at least twice. I’m trying. We’ll see.

*shrugs*

I’m still giving it a try. I wont write off a favored artist for something I mildly dislike, considering that I still trust she will produce more and I will likely find something I like in her future work.

 

Also a recent release, is Flogging Molly’s Speed of Darkness.

I love me some Flogging Molly, oh I do. I don’t listen to them all the time, but when I do it’s always a blast and I never anticipate a let down. Well in this case they did NOT let me down, just as I trusted them not to. It is refreshing. I am listening to the album as I type and I am enjoying it. I haven’t gotten to the point that I have favorites yet, but I know I’ll get there. Mainly because once my boyfriend gets a hold of it I will more than likely here it all the time, thus providing a chance to learn all the lyrics to sing drunkenly at the local pub.

(It isn’t MY fault they put a Pub within immediate walking distance of my apartment…nor is it my fault that they always have great specials)

I’m not sure I would yet call it better than their previous albums, but to be fair I’ve only listened to the album completely once. Plus I feel like that might be on a more subjective basis, so listen and decide for yourself!

 

ALSO: My birthday was this past Monday…I hit my quarter century mark and I disagree with being old. Hmf.

Out of it I did happen to score Trueblood Season 3 with a t-shirt. Yes I am a trubie…deal with it ^_^ (if you haven’t watched Trueblood, you should get on that).

I received a little birthday cash that I am currently saving until I see something I feel I can’t live without…so something dumb I’m sure. My Mom is going to give me a nice set of metal mixing bowl with rubber non-skid bottoms because I do indeed love me some kitchen goods. I also think she is buying me Alice: Madness Returns when it releases on June 14th because I CANNOT FRICKIN WAIT FOR THAT GAME OMG. Ok sorry, fangirling over. Until I get it of course and then you may have to ignore my blog for a few days if you get tired of Alice news.

Funny enough also on June 14th my Mom and I are going to see Katy Perry in concert. I’m excited. I haven’t been to a concert in a while, and I love love love live shows so much. We are also going to see Cirque du Soleil but I can’t remember exactly which one yet so I’ll get back to that later.

 

(I think I have found a favorite song on Speed of Darkness…just to update you)

 

In two days (Friday) I actually get to go home to celebrate my birthday with my parents! They have had my car due to issues with their jeep so I have to rely on boyfriend transport. It throws a wrench in my independent girl “I don’t need you to take me places dammit I can handle myself” lifestyle, and it oddly inconvenient, but it’s sweet of him and I don’t actually have necessary places to be for a few places so it’s cool. I maybe allowed to have my own vehicle back if Dad fixes the jeep though. If not, I still get to spoil my dog. ^_^

Sampson gets messy sometimes…I love him. He likes to pose for the camera. Maybe he is a little spoiled. Only a little though. I swear. He also doesn’t act like a giant lapdog. Ok I lie. He’s spoiled and tries to be a lapdog but he is very well behaved, loving and cuddly, which works for me.

 

I’m off now, going to play games to take my mind off not hearing back from UF about whether I am accepted or not yet. GRRRRRRR.

How Voldenae didn’t break her computer/How f7 won the LAN

In case you were unable to make the LAN (how lame of you) here are a few highlights from it, and I promise to try to keep it as brief as possible. The main thing to know is that f7 cleaned up at this LAN. Through competitions and the raffle we made out like bandits, seriously.

f7 winners with their swag

(For my non-gamer pals, I apologize for all of the gamer tag names I use, I justify it by saying you wouldn’t know their real names either, lol)

  1. Clickfire is the kind of headsets…he won 3 at this LAN and ended up giving a pair to f7 as a donation that was quickly give to Bobo.
  2. Bobo, who is still sans house, made it to the LAN and has an incredibly helpful and awesome father. I think he adopted us but I can’t be sure.
  3. Esca won the “who has the crapiest pair of headphones” mini-competition and received a nice new pair from Corsair.
  4. Super Cereal won…well I can’t remember what it’s called but it looks like a skateboard to drag your rig around on, and he and Esca won a new set of speakers.
  5. SOCRATEZ (my boyfriend, oddly like the Greek philosopher some days) won Ram that neither he nor I can use yet.
  6. Wstrika won an i5 and motherboard, which is pretty b.a.
  7. Adric won a new mini-case
  8. Blendor won liquid cooling
  9. I won a new case, power supply, speakers, liquid cooling, and headset from a case buildoff. Slight details below.

So Corsair, one of the epic sponsors of the LAN decided to do miniature competitions (who has the worst headset and case)  as well as game competitions (like CS:S and TF2). Esca won the worst headset one and received a nice new headset. I was chosen to participate in the case build-off because I have a truly horrible case. Well ok the whole rig really. So I, along with the one helper I was allowed (msleeper) go meet up with someone else with a crap-tastic case and his helper. Since we were in the competition we both automatically won the case. The race was to pull everything out of your old crap-a-licious case and transplant it into the new gorgeous one provided by Corsair. Let’s be honest, I have NO idea about the inner doings of a computer. The only time I was even close to an open computer was when I was told by two people to stand on the opposite side of the room so I couldn’t accidentally kill something. I’m not atrociously accident prone (most days) and just assumed I was to henceforth keep my hands away from anything that resemble technology more advance than my iPod and Kindle.

No. Corsair decided I was going to build it, and build it fast if I wanted any chance to win. Somehow, but the grace of msleeper I managed to gut my case, transplant the comp organs and get my computer running. Yes, it had to turn on and post, and we did just that. Through pointing and calm concise commands msleeper got me through that build faster than the other guy.

Yes, I beat the boy. Yes, he got his butt kicked by a girl. Passersby who missed the competition asked who won and were told “The Girl”. I was excited when I won, since to be honest I thought I was toast. I just feel bad for the guy whose friends will never let him live down the fact that he was beaten by a girl. I feel bad, but not badly enough to lose and let him have the winning perks, like the speakers, the liquid cooling and the power supply. Oh no.

There will eventually be video of this somewhere. They recorded the whole build, so once I get it I will post it. I’m interested to watch it and to know how long I managed to do the whole build in.

I now have a pretty case (which eats my desk) with my crap-tastic computer guts in it…upgrades to follow. I didn’t break my computer and f7 definitely won the LAN.

what my desk looks like now…stillmessy but with a much cuter case.

Also, I must say that the whole build was fun, I liked it, and the guy I beat was such a good sport, and Corsair were dolls for everything they donated to give out for prizes. The LAN was definitely Epic, and was an amazing prelude to today (May 30th) which is my birthday!

Even if I did have to build the computer myself, thanks Corsair for the birthday presents ^_^.

Hopefully the video goes up soon. Next blog…I may be ranting about Lady Gaga’s new cd that I am trying to enjoy and finding it difficult to do so. Until then, I will play with my new tech and save money for the obvious upgrades I need >_<.

Peace, love and brains!!!

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